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When colleague Martin Hayes was in Germany last week at the launch of the new Mercedes 0.303 coach range he was intrigued to see the reaction of senior Daimler-Benz men present to questions about the company's new major shareholder. Fifteen per cent of shares have been purchased by a Kuwait source for a rumoured £150m (that amount would easily have purchased our own British Leyland at its present stockmarket valuation). Questions about the need for Kuwaiti speakers on the board produced some genuine red faces — though there were plenty of smiles too. Seems that this final proof that the German economic miracle may not be going on for ever has bemused many Germans.